Advance

Neuro Access

Surgical vision with micro-precision

Neuro Access is a minimally invasive versatile surgical tool. It integrates innovative imaging and sensing technology to provide unparalleled access, vision and navigation within the brain.  

The brain is notoriously difficult to access. It is physically protected by the skull and a delicate network of fine blood vessels covers its surface and interior.

Surgical access to the brain is however essential to deliver therapeutics, to perform biopsies or to place intracranial electrodes.

The Wyss Center team is working with clinical and industry partners to develop a versatile image-guided robotic surgical platform that provides minimally invasive access to the brain coupled with real-time detection of blood vessels during surgery.

An image-guided robotic surgical platform

16 x
smaller drill hole than current approaches
8 µm
diameter real-time blood vessel detection
500 µm
drill hole diameter

The Neuro Access surgical platform uses advanced automation to drill a microscopic hole in the skull, 16 times smaller than current best-in-class approaches. Innovative pressure and energy sensing technology automatically stops the drill after it has fully penetrated the skull, but before the dura mater - the brain’s protective membrane - allowing precise and reliable access.

Once inside the skull, an image-guided tissue-type detection module provides a unique real-time view of the brain during surgery. Designed to minimize the risk of hemorrhage, it uses an optical coherence tomography (OCT) probe to reveal the location of blood vessels as the surgeon moves through the brain. 

Revealing the location of blood vessels in the brain during surgery

optical coherence tomography image
An optical coherence tomography (OCT) probe reveals the location of blood vessels in the brain. The imaging is indicative of that achievable with Neuro Access during surgery. Brain tissue is shown in orange, blood vessels in grey.
Matthew Lapinski
Matthew Lapinski, MSE, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MANAGER
“One of the known challenges of neurosurgery is hemorrhage which may not be detected until post-operative imaging and can lead to serious clinical risks. This precise new intelligent surgical tool has the potential to reduce the risk of hemorrhage, redefining the boundaries of what is currently possible in neurosurgery and improving outcomes for patients.”

The tissue-type detection module provides higher resolution imaging than MRI or CT scans and can be used for real time visualization during surgery so has potential applications in tumor tissue identification during biopsies or resections. 

An additional module, designed to deliver a controlled, reliable, and consistent dose of therapeutics to specific brain locations, is also under development.  

Neuro Access and its associated custom-built AI software can be used as a standalone system or integrated into existing clinical workflows. The system is currently in preclinical testing.

The team is exploring strategic partnerships for clinical development and commercialization.

To find out more about this project and our business development efforts, please get in touch: busdev@wysscenter.ch


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